Thursday, September 22, 2005


I think differently than a lot of people. Well, not really, I just think differently than a lot of people I know.

This causes problems, because things I say, while making perfect sense to me, make little or no sense to them. Or, even worse, are taken completely in the wrong way. This is what happens when two people are speaking two different languages. Words are not absolute, they are fluid, and can have any meaning that a person chooses to give them at a time.

This becomes especially frustrating when talking to people about God. For some, hearing about God as "Leader" of their life is a perfectly pleasant and wonderful idea....for others, it gives a sort of "ick" feeling for some unknown reason. Not that leader is a bad way of describing the relationship we can have with God, no worse or better than Master, Saviour, Father, Lord, King etc. Slightly less biblical (then again, any english word isn't technically biblical) but not better or worse.

The meanings (some people call them connotations, but when the "usual" meaning of a word is swallowed in connotations ...say like the word's safe to say the meaning has changed) of words depend on our experiences, on our worldview and, at times, on our moods.

So with all this mess in the way, how can real communication take place?

I'm learning through experience that the key to communication is not speaking but listening. Through listening we can learn the meaning of the words the other person is using, then fit them in to what we are saying. Without listening there is no communication, only noise, only confusion, frustration, pain.

So why don't we listen? Obviously, because we want to be heard. However, if we want others to know our story, the way we think, the way we feel, what matters to us, we must first listen. We must agree upon a langauge, and stop the noise.

It's amazing what you can learn about a person when you listen.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great thoughts! I agree that we need to listen more and I don't understand why we can't take the time to listen. We always want everyone to listen to us but why don't we listen? Did it every occur to us that maybe if we are too busy to listen then when we need someone to listen to us, they might be too busy? I don't think that as occur to us. We (meaning anyone and everyone) are very selfish ppl and I think that is one thing that we all should try harder to work at not being. That is something I think about quite often. So thanks for sharing your thoughts